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Can You Keep People From Eating Themselves to Death?

Sunday, July 03, 2011

We had our family July 4th BBQ today. Yes it's a day early, but we'll be attending a parade and other events tomorrow. I grilled salmon and had salad, rosemary red potatoes, and corn on the cob. All very healthy.

My mother was told me last night that she would make a salad. She was also supposed to bring some low-fat ice cream. She showed up with neither. Instead, she brought a big bucket of KFC extra crispy and the ingredients for S'mores.

My mom is grossly overweight. She has high blood pressure, congestive heart failure and two weeks ago her doctor told her that her cholesterol was too high. My husband (cholesterol problems run in his family) and I sat down with her and made sure that she knew what foods she could and couldn't eat. All with no impact.

A few people ate a piece of chicken, but most wanted the salmon. Later in the day, I walked into the kitchen to find my mother pulling the crust and skin off of the KFC and eating it. She ate the skin off all the remaining pieces and left the "nude" chicken meat in the bucket.

Someone suggested this behavior might be a result of her age (82), but she has eaten like this ever since I can remember. Her doctor has repeatedly given her diets to follow, warned her off of salt and sweets and high fat foods, but she refuses to listen. Even when we cook healthy food for her, she does nothing but complain about olive oil instead of butter, light sour cream, light butter or margarine, fruit that isn't drowning in a sugary syrup, etc.

I'm at a loss. I can't force her to eat healthy. I can't prevent her from eating herself to death. Should I just let her alone given her age, or should I continue to fight with her over her habits?
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  • JANENE413
    Hi, I just stopped by your Spark Page and saw this blog entry. I think PLEIGHG hit the nail on the head. "You can lead a horse to water . . . "

    You don't have any control over this situation. And it's so hard when we see someone we love on a self-destructive path. Keep in mind how much you love her and follow your own path.


    2179 days ago
    I know a lot of people like your mom. It's hard for me to see them do those things just as I know it's hard for you to see your mom sabotage her health the way she is.

    I've had the "Come to Jesus" talks with a couple of them to no avail. I finally had to tell myself that they're adults and I can't make them do anything they don't want to do. But I also made the decision to never eat over at their houses (because they refused to cook healthy foods), and instead to have them over for dinner or go out as a group.

    It's hard and I wish you the best with handling it.
    2239 days ago
    I know you want what's best for your Mom, but sometimes you have to pick your battles. If she has been eating like this as long as you can remember, she isn't going to change unless she sees a need to. She may figure that she's 82 and why change now.

    I would offer healthy foods when she's with you (even though she complains about it), but don't drive yourself crazy about things you can't control. It's only stressing you more, because she probably isn't dwelling on your conversation about her eating.
    2331 days ago
    My Mom would never listen either. You gave it your best shot for what you Mom should be doing. Either it will sink in later, or it never will. Just let it drop for now. I know how you feel!! emoticon
    2331 days ago
    Sorry girl I know it hurts you to see a loved one do that. The lady above said it all. I had someone tell me that they was too old to give up donuts. I looked in amazement!!! No one can change unless they want to or have the desire. All we can do is look at them....and wonder when will hey come to themselves...
    2331 days ago
    Hey there........please take what I am saying with the good will that is intended. My mother was the biggest self saboteur that there could be, but she didn't make it past 45 yrs. I resigned myself toward the end of her time that she was an adult, and free to make her own choices. Right or wrong, I couldn't control it. So, I had to let the pieces fall where they may. Your Mom is pretty advanced in years to make some big changes in her eating habits, even if it is the best thing for her. You can only encourage and guide her, and love her. In the end it is her decision.

    Wishing you all the best..........
    2331 days ago
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